Top 5 Acts at Byron Music Festival

Technically known as the Atlanta International Pop Festival, around here it’s more often called the “Byron Pop Festival.”  Held at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, the festival attracted around 600,000 fans, which still holds the record for the largest outdoor gathering in Georgia history.  The event took place over the 4th of July weekend in 1970 with 30 acts performing on the main stage.  Three years ago an official historic marker was unveiled at the site of the 1970 festival.

By Guest Gatekeeper Ben Sandifer, read about Ben>>

1.  The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band had only released one album and were relatively unknown outside this area, at the time of the Byron festival.  They opened and closed the event and showed the world what incredible live performers they were.

2.  Jimi Hendrix

His unique rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at midnight on July 4, accompanying a fireworks display, was one of the highlights of the festival. Byron would be one of the last performances for Hendrix before his death in September 1970.

3.  Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk Railroad were introduced the previous summer at the first Atlanta Pop Festival in Hampton.  Their third album, “Closer To Home,” had just been released when the Byron festival opened. Grand Funk was the only act who played at both Georgia pop festivals.

4.  B.B. King

Perhaps the oldest performer at Byron – age 44 – B.B. King was well on his way to legendary status as a blues singer/guitarist. Starting with his live radio show in Memphis, King already had two decades of performing on his resume, and his biggest hit “The Thrill Is Gone” had established him with the mainstream audience earlier that year.

5.  Bob Seger

Though he had only one hit at the time (Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man),  he gave rock ‘n roll fans a sneak preview of bigger things to come, and the superstar status that he would earn, starting about six years after the Byron festival.



Thanks to Timothy Mitchell for posting this;